Authentic Learning – Presentations

Perfecting presentations – a chapter that positions the modern work place – what we are [re[aring students for – “demands that every individual be able to speak in front of at least a small crowd” (85). The successful characteristics of classroom presentations, according to Pahomov, are that they are flexible, shareable and interactive.

Pahomov challenges the perception of presentations, where the emphasis on speaking is a flaw. The digital connection provides a plethora of opportunities to present information that does not involve standing at the front of the class with cue cards. To make the presented content authentic, it should have an audience beyond the activity.  The sharing aspect will help to motivate students to refine their presentation skills too. Blogging, wikis, online video sharing tools can all assist in delivering dynamic projects beyond the wall of the classroom. Finally, the culture of engaging with a class load of presentations is challenged. There are obvious flaws to this model, but by integrating a presentation structure where interaction is integral to the project’s success. Digital presentation of the work also encourages this interaction with commenting a feature of many online tools.

A framework for Classroom Presentation:

  • Acknowledge two stages of presentation
  • Let students pick the medium
  • Let the presentation influence the outcome
  • Present beyond the school walls
  • Practice on the micro level

The chapter examined each of these aspects in detail and argued for the change in learning that could occur from embracing this framework.

Next step: Ask in Thursday’s Un-Conference ‘Why should students put so much effort into a product that is only going to be viewed by one person?’ Challenge the staff to think about the work that they are expecting from students; challenge the culture of not sharing work; challenge them to embrace the online environment, making connections to the tools available including the Year 9 blogs.

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